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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Thread To The Past

"Summertime", a George Gershwin composition from the early 20th century, is familiar to most of us. For me, it is also a thread connected to the past. As I briefly unravel my thread, think of a song or movie or book or food (apologies to Marcel Proust) that has been a thread in your life. I'd like to know. 

As a high school sophomore I heard upper classmen from the "jazz band" play "Summertime". Although this wasn't the first time I'd heard the song, I clearly recall their rendition: drums & bass in 3/4 time (a waltz), as the sax played the melody in common time (4/4). I was transfixed; I still remember this 45+ years later.

In the rock n' roll years, I enjoyed Janis Joplin's read. Several years and many versions later (as I began studying jazz guitar) the song became one of  the first I could navigate; it's still  in my repertoire. Each of you on the bell curve might have a favorite version even though "Summertime" is likely not your thread. Joe Pass on solo guitar (cycling through several keys) & McCoy Tyner's haunting solo piano piece are favorites for me.

The thread returned earlier today when I re-connected with a very old friend. We spoke of many things, including music. My friend mentioned guitarist Pat Metheny. I spoke with him about Pat and Jim Hall's terrific take on this song. After hanging up, I found myself right back in my high school auditorium listening to that little jazz band playing "Summertime", a thread to my past. Yours?  

1 comment:

  1. I think of flowers. Specific flowers....iris, four-o-clocks, etc.

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